ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES
February 2, 2009
Call to Order
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on February 2, 2009 was called to order at 3:04 p.m. by Paul A. Mogren, Senate President. The meeting was held in room 115 C. Roland Christensen Center.
David Ailion, Peter Alfeld, Tim Ameel, Ali Amundsen, James Anderson, Richard Barton, Shmuel Baruch, Paul S. Bernstein, David Blair, John Bowman, Jennifer Buhler, Connie Bullis, Vincent Cheng, Hiram Chodosh, John Conboy, Ross McPhail for Suzanne Darais, David Derezotes, Larry DeVries, Marianna DiPaolo, Nadja Durbach, Eric Eddings, Marlene Egger, Phil Emmi, RuthAnne Frost,Kasi Goodwin, Chanel Hammer, Steve Downes for Pat Hanna, Michael Hardman, Sandra Hasstedt, Greg Hatch, Bob Hill, Vladimir Hlady, Mark Button for Lauren Holland, Garry Hrechkosy, Tom Huckin, James Caitlin, Kristen Keefe for Steve Kern, David Kiefer, Thomas Kontuly, Stephane LeBohec, Joelle Lien, Janet Lindsley, Karl Lins, Laurence Loeb, Janis Louie, Zheng-Rong Lu, Brad Lundahl, Peter Martin, Daniel Medwed, William C. Michel, Nathan Mounteer, Maria Newton, Eric O’Connell, David Pendell, Kevin Perry, Ofa Pilivi, David Plumlee Mollie Poynton, R. Lor Randall, Patrick Reimherr, Rita Reusch, Andrea Rorrer, Nelson Roy, Brock Royall, Donn Schaefer, Bill Schulze, Bam Dev Sharda, Tony Serrato-Combe, James Sibthorp, Randy Silverman, Alec Smith, Paula Smith, Josh Solarez, Nancy Staggers, Paul Stout, Margaret Toscano, Aaron Bertram forPeter Trapa, Robert Wendel, Adam Wolfe, Nick Wolfinger
Excused: Jessica Batty, Harriet Hopf, Bruce Landesman, Edward M. Levine, Kathryn Morton, Harris Sondak, Sharon M. Weinstein
Ex-officio: A. Loris Betz, Paul Brinkman, Penny Brooke, Robert Flores, John Francis, James Graves, Nancy Lines, Paul Mogren, Susan Olson, David Pershing, Brenda Scheer, Richard Sperry
Others: Ann Floor, Carleton DeTar, Don Bloswick, Muriel Schmid, Jim Steenburgh, Nancy Lombardo
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the Academic Senate meeting of January 12, 2009 were approved unanimously.
Request for New Business
Jim Anderson presented a White Paper entitled “Considering Community-Engaged Scholarship” that was very interesting and well received by the senators. His exploration of what role academic research plays in the lives of the general public was the premise of his paper. The full White Paper is available on the Academic Senate website, http://www.admin.utah.edu/asenate/.
The resignations, retirements, faculty appointments, auxiliary appointments, and limited term appointments, appearing in Appendices I, II, and III dated January 12 and February 2, 2009, received approval to forward to the Board of Trustees.
The recommendation of Steven Sternfield, Associate Professor of Linguistics, for the John R. Park Teachers’ Fellowship for 2009 was also approved.
Executive Committee Report
James Anderson, Executive Committee Secretary, summarized his report of the January 20, 2009 Executive Committee meeting.
Report from Administration
David W. Pershing, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, gave a brief update on the budget situation for fiscal year 2009 indicating that it is not as bad as some of our neighbors around the country. He acknowledged that the governor lobbied very heavily in support of higher education and public education. The higher education new budget cut of 7.25%, which the legislative executive appropriations committee has agreed to a backfill with one-time money, would bring this new budget cut to 3.625% which equals 7.625% for this current fiscal year. The vice president feels that departments can handle this additional cut in a variety of ways and has encouraged all suggestions be sent to him either by a link found on the University F.Y.I., http://web.utah.edu/fyi/, or directly to his email at email@example.com. Some very good ideas have already been received but he is receptive to additional suggestions. Vice President Pershing is uncertain what to expect for the 2010 fiscal year as the information will not be available until the end of this session. Finally, his response to a question regarding student tuition, he indicated that it will be going up.
Report from ASUU
Patrick Reimherr, ASUU president, reported on the upcoming events of ASUU activities. The Presenter’s Office has been busy in arranging for weekly concert series every Thursday at noon in the Union food court; a Music Lounge with Kasey Coyle in the Union on February 5; Madagascar in the Fine Arts Auditorium on February 6; Gloria Landson Billings @COSA on February 7; Crimson Café on February 18; Michael Benitez, Jr. on February 20; and a subsidized showing of ‘Sweet Honey in the Rock’ at Kingsbury Hall on February 27. The Facility Board has been working on the Spring Budget Process, for which applications will be available on February 16 in 234 Union. The Government Relations Board is working with the Hinckley Institute of Politics on a Forum on higher education. Patrick also reminded the senate that a new revised RedPages guide will be out in the summer. The Campus Relations Board has targeted an outreach campaign called Project RedLight, which is a project focusing on student engagement in identifying within their departments.
Notice of Intent
Carleton DeTar, chair of the University RPT Standards Committee, explained that this is a response to the Academic Senate’s request to review, and if appropriate, propose changes to passages in University Policies concerning the make-up, duties, criteria, and standards for retention, tenure and promotion of faculty. The primary objective, which was reviewed and approved by the Office of General Council, is to ensure that University Policy clearly sets forth certain minimum standards that all departments must adopt and apply in RPT cases, particularly in the granting of tenure. He encouraged senators to seek their department’s suggestions to define their rolls relating to the proposed language on minimum requirements of effectiveness and excellence as these should be seen largely as a codification of existing practices, stated with greater clarity so as to minimize opportunities for misunderstanding and dispute. Robert Flores recommended that if there were words changes needing to be made, confer with your constituents and get their input and forward any suggestions to him prior to the March Senate meeting. This will be sent to the March Academic Senate meeting on the Debate Calendar.
Professor Don Bloswick from Mechanical Engineering presented a brief synopsis of the proposed Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering. The certificate addresses the need for engineers with training in complex engineering systems, such as in the aerospace industry and the military and provides them with the ability to develop, analyze, and model systems of all kinds. The graduate certificate will be available to all graduate students but it is expected that most students will be from the College of Engineering. It will continue to be an integral part of the existing ATK program. The certificate is more and more recognized nationally. Another noted benefit is a significant salary bump upon completion of the required courses for those already in the field. A motion from Randy Silverman, seconded by Marianna DiPialo, to accept the proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees for final approval received unanimous approval.
Muriel Schmid introduced the request for a Graduate Certificate in Religious Studies. Dr. Schmid explained that this new interdisciplinary minor will replace an existing minor in Religion and Culture and is the first step towards creating a forum where students can study religion in an academic and critical way in order to be better prepared to work and live in a world being increasingly shaped by religious pluralism and traditions. It is competitive with similar programs at similar institutions. A motion was made by Larry DeVries, seconded by Nadia Durbach, to approve the request and forward to the Board of Trustees for final approval was approved unanimously.
Jim Steenburgh from the Department of Meteorology presented the College of Mines and Earth Sciences request to change the name of the Department of Meteorology to the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. He indicated that this change will better reflect the breadth of the department and is supported by both faculty and students. It is expected that his change may potentially bring in additional funding and help in recruiting graduate students and new faculty as it follows the trend being set within the majority of the nation’s universities. A motion from Jim Anderson, seconded by Karl Lines, to accept the request and forward to the Board of Trustees for final approval received unanimous approval.
Nancy Lombardo, chair of the Faculty Budget and Planning Committee presented a resolution related to the budget shortfalls. As this came to the Senate as a seconded motion, no motion was required but the motion passed with one opposing vote.
David Pendell invited all to bring a friend and attend the Faculty Club’s Social on Friday, February 6 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the University Guest House Meeting Room C.
There was no new business.
The meeting adjourned at 4:57 p.m.
Nancy Lines, Secretary to the Faculty